We now know of at least one team in the NFL that truly can say they have the Green Bay Packers number. Say hello to the Chicago Bears. For the second time in 2007, the Bears, a team that went to the Super Bowl last year only to know have six wins on the season, topped the Packers at Soldier Field 35-7. It was a frustrating day for the Packers, who not only were beaten as badly as at any point this season, but the loss also means that the Cowboys will have home field throughout the NFC Playoffs.
The Bears did a number on Brett Favre, holding him to just 9 yards passing in the first half, and 153 overall. They also got a pick from linebacker Brian Urlacher that he returned 85 yards for a score to put them up 35-7 and put the game well away with 11:20 left. The Packers have lost just three games this year, two to the Bears, and the other to the Cowboys. The loss means while they have a bye and a home game in the Divisional round, they would have to play in Dallas if they win their divisional game in what would be the NFC Championship game.
It was a good day for Chicago, as Adrian Peterson rushed for 102 on 30 carries, and QB Kyle Orton played mistake free, only throwing the ball 14 times, but completing 9 passes for 101 yards and a TD to Desmond Clark. The story though was the Bears defense, which harassed Favre and the Pack all day. They held Green Bay to 274 total yards, and despite Ryan Grant going for 100 yards, the Green Bay offense seemed out of sync.
Green Bay trailed 13-7 at the half, and then in the third quarter they went down 21-7 on Orton’s TD pass and a two-point conversion. Then Chicago put the game away on the next Green Bay drive as they blocked a Jon Ryan punt and Corey Graham returned it seven yards for a score to make it 28-7 with 7:23 left in the quarter. Urlacher made any doubt go away with the pick and score early in the fourth quarter.
The game could be called a wake-up call for the Packers, who seemed like a dome team playing in the cold in Chicago. Favre went just an awful 2-for-7 in the first half, and then threw a pick to Alex Brown in the third quarter. If Green Bay wants to make sure they have a shot in the NFC Title game in Dallas if that is how it ends up, they had better make sure they play better in the divisional round and get more focused.
Next week the Bears will take on the Saints at home in a rematch of the NFC Title game at 1pm. The Packers will probably rest plenty of starters as they take on Detroit at home at 1pm.